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15N NOE, T1, and T2 measurements have been carried out on uniformly 15N-labeled human interleukin-4. Analysis of the results in terms of order parameters (S2) shows that although the helical core of this four-helix-bundle protein exists as a well-defined structure with limited conformational flexibility (S2 congruent to 0.9), other regions of the molecule experience substantial fluctuations in the conformation of the main chain (S2 = 0.3-0.8). These regions include both the N- and C-termini and two of the loops joining the helices. The majority of these internal motions are fast compared with the overall rotational correlation time (tau R = 7.6 ns at 35 degrees C) and are localized in regions that are relatively ill-defined in the NMR structures previously determined for this protein [Smith, L. J., Redfield, C., Boyd, J., Lawrence, G. M. P., Edwards, R. G., Smith, R. A. G., & Dobson, C. M. (1992) J. Mol. Biol. 224, 899-904]. Other motions are on a slower time scale and appear to be associated with two of the three disulfide bonds and the beta-sheet region in the protein. The dynamic properties of interleukin-4 in solution have been compared with features of the X-ray structures of other four-helix-bundle proteins. The results suggest that the dynamic properties observed here may be general for this class of proteins and may be significant for the interpretation of both their structural and functional properties.


Journal article



Publication Date





10431 - 10437


Humans, Interleukin-4, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Molecular, Nitrogen Isotopes, Protein Conformation